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Avalara Help Center

User Roles

This article applies to:Excise


This document applies to all license types.  Content last updated 11/30/2015. 
Help Center documentation is confidential and proprietary to Avalara clients.

Every user is assigned a Role, which controls what information that user can see and change. Your organization is initially setup with at least 1 user (2 are recommended) whose role lets them administer your other Avalara Excise users. This includes changing users' roles. 

License Type

When signed in to the Avalara Excise service, you'll see one or more orange tabs in the upper right corner that show your license type, as seen here. For this discussion, you only need to know if the license type ends with Pro or Enterprise. AvaTax Excise Enterprise does not currently show Enterprise, but if it doesn't say Pro, it's Enterprise. Some customers still are licensed for Returns Excise Express, but it is no longer offered for sale. 

Returns Excise Enterprise and AvaTax Excise tabs

The PRO_USER role is applied to clients licensed for Excise Returns Pro edition.  This role is not supported for other license types. PRO_USER can edit data and view all user screens in addition to user administration.

The PRO_ADMIN role is the same as PRO_USER plus User Administration permissions. 

Clients licensed for Enterprise and Express use these roles:

  • ZMS_VIEW can view all maintenance and tax filing screens but not edit any data.
  • ZMS_EDIT can view and edit all maintenance and tax filing screens.
  • ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN can edit data and view all user screens in addition to user administration.
    • ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN_WITH_MASTER adds the ability to export and import master data from the Maintenance menu. 

Each Enterprise and Express client company is assigned a ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN role by Support when their initial contract is signed.  There must be at least one user per company who retains this role in order to reset passwords and create new users.

View roles and their descriptions

Express View query gives you a description of what each role does. 

  • Users who have permission level of ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN or higher can also view under Admin > Roles from the main menu.
  1. Click Reporting > Express View.
  2. Click the dropdown next to Data Source and select Roles.
  3. Click Execute.  The extended list displayed is for every type of system user, including custom and development roles.  
  4. Click on the Filter icon.
  5. Type ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN, ZMS_EDIT or ZMS_VIEW in the Role Name box and click equal to for the search criteria.  The search criteria is not case sensitive.
  6. The Description column tells you what this role can do in the software.  
  7. Click here to learn more about Express View.

Choosing a role for a new user

In this example, I need to assign a new hire a role that can create an eFile.

  1. Click Reporting > Express View.
  2. Click the dropdown next to Data Source and select Roles.
  3. Type ZMS_VIEW in the Role Name box and set the filter as Equal To.
  4. After the screen refreshes, type eFile in the Description box and set the filter as Contains.
  5. Each Role Permission (this is an internal system name) is listed separately in the Description column.  None of the descriptions include eFile create, so this is not the role we need.
  6. If you want to hide the Role Permission, click on Columns and uncheck Role Permission
  7. Change the Role Name box to ZMS_EDIT and set the filter as Equal To.  Ability to create an eFile appears in this description, so this is a possible choice.
  8. Change the Role Name box to ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN and set the filter as Equal To.  Ability to create an eFile appears in this description as well.
  9. I can give my new user either the ZMS_EDIT or ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN role.  Both have similar permissions for eFile, but the ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN can also create users and set passwords.  I don't want my new user to reset their co-worker's passwords, so I select the role of ZMS_EDIT.

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